Building Hope Newsletter, July 2017

Executive Director’s Corner

It’s been an exhilarating start to my role as executive director for HomeAid Northern Virginia, and I want to thank all of you—our partners, stakeholders, and champions—for being so overwhelmingly supportive. Last week’s Builders & Friends BBQ is a perfect case in point, where we raised a record-breaking $54,000 for HomeAid—a full $20,000 more than our previous best year! And what’s particularly encouraging is that so many of our donors and sponsors at this year’s BBQ were new to HomeAid—we look forward to getting to know all of them even better in the coming months and strengthening our new partnerships. I’d also like to say thank you to our amazing staff and corps of volunteers. Events like the BBQ require a great deal of work, and seeing even our former interns return to pitch in and help our small staff and many of our hardest-working volunteers and Board members warmed my heart. Your commitment is inspiring, and I am so grateful for your support of HomeAid, as well as for your support of me as I continue to settle in as executive director.


Builders & Friends BBQ Breaks Fundraising Records for HomeAid

John Buhl, Buhl Electric Named 2017 Trade Partner of the Year

More than 300 supporters and partners turned out on a warm summer night for HomeAid’s 8th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ, raising an incredible $54,000 for the organization—surpassing previous top fundraising totals for the BBQ by more than $20,000. Perhaps most importantly, many of the donations came from an expanded list of sponsors and supporters who had not previously partnered with HomeAid, including JamesHardie, which joined Granite Source, a repeat supporter, as our top-level “Smokehouse Sponsors” of the event.

A project of this size always requires a lot of helping hands, and volunteers from Cox Communications and the NVBIA Associates Council pitched in, along with former HomeAid interns, current staff, and many HomeAid Board members—thank you to all for helping make this important event run so smoothly!

The night proved to be the perfect venue for also recognizing and thanking trade partners for their enormous investment of time and in-kind donations to HomeAid projects, with special congratulations going to John Buhl of Buhl Electric, who was named HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 2017 Trade Partner of the Year.

“John’s unwavering generosity is remarkable,” said HomeAid President Jerry Berman. “He has made in-kind donations of more than $60,000 for 11 different projects over seven years, while also donating more than $40,000 in sponsorships at various HomeAid events—including this year’s BBQ! He is equally generous with his time, serving on our Board of Directors as well as on our projects. It’s a level of support that stands out in so many ways, particularly when one considers that Buhl Electric is still a family-owned company. And the beauty of it all is nobody ever asks John to help – he’s always there, and first in line!”

Special thanks to our 2017 sponsors
for their generous support of this year’s BBQ!

HomeAid, CarrHomes Give Gift of Outdoors and New Kitchen to Pathways Residents

HomeAid, Builder Captain CarrHomes, and 11 trade partners are putting the finishing touches on a single family home owned by Pathway Homes, a local, independent, nonprofit organization that provides non-time-limited housing and supportive services to adults with serious mental illness and other co-occurring disabilities in Northern Virginia. Workers scheduled the $17,000 renovation project around the three women living in the home, completely updating and renovating the kitchen; installing new flooring in the entrance foyer; converting and moving laundry facilities to a corner stack unit to expand available storage; and wiring new ceiling fans in the women’s bedrooms. A new patio will also be installed in the coming weeks, giving the women the gift of comfortable outdoor space.

“This was a relatively quick, two-week, in-and-out project for us,” said Tim Schiesl, customer service manager for CarrHomes, “but it feels as good to give a new kitchen and outdoor space to these women as it does to make over an entire house top to bottom. These residents were so grateful—even getting ceiling fans in their rooms can make the kind of difference that so many of us take for granted.”

“We as a company always try to complete at least one HomeAid project every year,” he continued, “and our company’s leadership will do just about whatever it takes to make sure that we get costs as close to 100 percent covered as possible, often dipping into their own pockets and sending us to Home Depot on them to get it done. I love working on HomeAid projects for that feeling of giving back, but it also gives me so much appreciation for my employer. It’s a win-win for everyone!”

“The women living in this home would be at extremely high risk for homelessness were it not for our support, and to gain the additional care from HomeAid and CarrHomes is hard to quantify,” said Anna Smith, director of development for Pathways. “This project showed them in such a concrete way that people care, and it’s such a lasting gift. Every time they prepare a meal in their new kitchen or spend time outdoors, we take another positive step forward. We are so grateful to HomeAid, CarrHomes, and the trade partners for taking such good care of us!”

Thank you CarrHomes and the following trade partners for investing in our community—you have made a very real difference in the lives of three women!
A & S Sales
Builders FirstSource
Bryant Group
Capital Carpets
Delta Concrete
General Electric
HDS Drywall Service
Reico Kitchen and Bath
Southern Electric Service Company
T.A.C. Tile


Southern Electrical Services Company

It’s a common occurrence: HomeAid and Builder Captains work hard to create the most thorough scope of work document possible, but once walls are opened and unknown issues are found, some additional work is invariably needed. And at the recent project at Pathways led by CarrHomes, electrical issues came to the forefront during a renovation. That reality led trade partner Southern Electrical to go above and beyond the call of duty, rewiring systems in the home to bring it up to code and ensure its safety for the three women living in the home.

Danny and Faron Lee, the owners, always have our backs,” said Tim Schiesl, customer service manager for CarrHomes, “and this project required a lot of additional effort. They are always willing to make things right, and it makes such a difference to work with partners who are so committed to quality and excellence. I could say the same about all of our partners with HomeAid—I’m always honored to work with a team of individuals made up of people like Danny and Faron from Southern Electrical.”

Founded in Leesburg, Va., by Jack Lee and owned and operated by the Lee family continuously since 1963, Southern Electrical Services Company now employs 200 people and is a residential, commercial, and industrial full-service electrical contractor.


Help Make Summer Memories—Send a Family to the Ballpark this Month!

Friday, July 28, 2017
NVBIA pre-game Triple Play Picnic: 5:30pm
Gates open: 6:00pm | Game time: 7:05pm
Pfitzner Stadium

HomeAid’s 7th Annual Night at the Ballpark is fast approaching, but there is still plenty of time to support this popular event and help make lasting summer memories for families living in local shelters! Your sponsorship can help send families from local shelters to the baseball game, where they’ll watch the Potomac Nationals take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans—and you will receive complimentary tickets to the baseball game, signage, recognition, and more, based on sponsorship levels.

In addition to tickets to the game, families will receive parking and concessions vouchers; HomeAid will coordinate pictures with the Potomac National’s mascot, Uncle Slam; and kids will get to pick out a new backpack for the new school year, thanks to the participants of our Backpack Drive. One lucky guest will get to throw out the first pitch, all the kids will get to run the bases after the game, and families will also enjoy a post-game fireworks show put on by the Potomac Nationals!

“HomeAid’s mission is focused on building new hope for the homeless, and that means going beyond just giving at-risk or homeless men, women, and children a safe, stable place to call home,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director Kristyn Burr. “This baseball event gives parents the gift of time with their children, helps instill the importance of family time, and gives them a night out—without having to worry about whether they can afford ballpark prices. For this one night, they can feel like ‘everyone else’—out enjoying America’s favorite pastime with their kids.”

For more information about how YOU can make special memories through a sponsorship, contact Kristyn Burr at 571.283.6320.

Thank you, Van Metre Homes, Buhl Electric Co. and Franklin Electric Co., Inc. for your generous support of Night at the Ballpark.

“It’s affirming to not only be able to attend a game, but also to be able to treat a family member. For many, the lack of income – and, for some, symptoms of mental illness – lead to isolation, and activities like the HomeAid baseball game help mitigate those feelings of loneliness and accelerate recovery.” 

~ Anna Smith, director of development for Pathway Homes, Inc.

Making it Count
It’s Never Too Soon to Plan for Back to School
Summer may have just started, but for families in crisis, there’s no break from the stress of making ends meet, finding childcare, or planning for the future. And when schools re-open in August and September, HomeAid Northern Virginia and partners will once again ease school expenses with another highly successful Backpack Drive!

Thank you to Alison Paley of Van Metre Homes, NVBIA Custom Builders Council, Preferred Insurance, Thompson Greenspon, Van Metre Homes, and Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh PC for coordinating the collection of more than 300 brand-new backpacks, which will be distributed to every child who attends HomeAid’s Night at the Ballpark event. Any extra backpacks will be donated to shelter partners to distribute to their clients with school-age children.

Thank you to all who made this year’s drive such a success—back-to-school supplies cost between $659 and $1,498 for elementary through high school students for the 2016-2017 school year, and it’s an investment that many cannot make. We are grateful for your help!

Outdoor Essentials Needed for Pathways Project

HomeAid Northern Virginia is looking for volunteers to help furnish an outdoor patio for the recently completed Pathway Homes project, led by Builder Captain CarrHomes. The collection effort, part of our “Welcome Home” program, will ensure that the three women who live in the home will be able to enjoy their new outdoor living space, and will help our shelter partner redirect critically important funding toward programs. It’s also a great way to involve members of office, school, church, or sports groups who want to support HomeAid’s mission.

Priority items for the outdoor patio include:

  • Patio table
  • Patio chairs and cushions
  • Umbrella

HomeAid Northern Virginia can arrange for interested individuals and/or groups to deliver the furnishings in person, or staff from HomeAid can schedule a pick-up. Please contact Kathryn Kovacs if you would like to coordinate a collection for this project. Thank you!


Jon Lindgren and NVBIA Appreciate Organization’s Relationship with HomeAid

In 2001, two members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) founded HomeAid Northern Virginia to foster the building industry’s charitable outreach efforts. Since then, HomeAid and NVBIA have enjoyed a strong relationship; in addition to supporting HomeAid’s charitable mission, Jon Lindgren, executive vice president of NVBIA, notes that the partnership has been a great way for the building industry to connect with the local community. Lindgren shares his thoughts on the successful partnership between HomeAid and NVBIA and how involvement with HomeAid remains a point of pride for NVBIA.

Q:  How did you become involved with NVBIA?

A:  Prior to accepting my position at NVBIA, I worked for Pulte Homes, where I was very active in NVBIA. I served on the board of directors, as well as vice president and president of the Fairfax Chapter. As an NVBIA board member, I witnessed first-hand the critical role that HomeAid performs in providing stable housing to families in need. I am consistently impressed with our members’ commitment to supporting HomeAid and have been pleased to see HomeAid’s positive impact in our community.

Q:  What is your connection to HomeAid?

A:  Our organizations are very close. HomeAid was founded as NVBIA’s charitable organization, and our offices are co-located in Chantilly. In addition to being physically co-located, these two organizations share a common commitment to community service. NVBIA members appreciate that a stable living environment is one of the best ways for a family in need to be able to get on solid footing and succeed—especially in our area, where housing costs make up such a large part of a family’s expenses. Through HomeAid, NVBIA members can help to improve the quality of life for local families in need.

Q:  Can you talk a little bit about the role of NVBIA?

A:  NVBIA’s primary role is to foster a thriving economic and political climate in Northern Virginia that allows the homebuilding industry to meet the demand for safe, attractive, and affordable housing. We strive to accomplish this through our four pillars: Philanthropy, Education, Advocacy, and Networking.

In terms of philanthropy, HomeAid has been NVBIA’s primary focus. In 2017, NVBIA is budgeted to contribute nearly $45,000 to HomeAid, and NVBIA members will also contribute hundreds of hours of volunteer time and in-kind contributions. In the area of education, NVBIA provides members with many opportunities for continuing education courses, including training on OSHA requirements, Certified Sales Professional, and Certified Aging-in-Place courses.

NVBIA also plays a critical role as an advocate for the building industry. NVBIA’s local chapters work with political, legal, and regulatory contacts in Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William, and Fauquier counties to ensure that our industry has a seat at the table regarding industry-related issues. NVBIA’s Legislative committee also represents our members at the General Assembly in Richmond and works very closely with the statewide organization, the Homebuilders Association of Virginia (HBAV), and at the federal level with the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB).

NVBIA recognizes the importance of networking within the industry and hosts events throughout the year to foster and encourage business-to-business relationships. Some of the more popular events include the annual Crawfish Boil, Crab Feast, and Oyster Roast, along with Meet The Builder—which has a March Madness tie-in.

Q:  NVBIA shares a lot with HomeAid, including proceeds from some events and leadership. Can you talk a little about what they share?

A:  It’s a very close relationship. Since its inception, NVBIA’s members have been strongly committed to HomeAid and its mission. In addition to sharing office space—which is great because it makes it very easy for NVBIA and HomeAid to interact and collaborate with each other on a daily basis—we also share many of the same board members. Many past NVBIA board presidents have gone on to become president of HomeAid’s board and vice versa. HomeAid is more than just a charitable organization; it is a passion for many people in our industry, and it provides a way for our members to give back to the community by providing one of the most fundamental aspects of a stable family life, which is a clean, safe place to call home.

Q:  NVBIA has been very supportive to HomeAid financially. How are those funds raised?

A:  NVBIA contributes to HomeAid in a variety of ways. A portion of the member dues that are collected each year go to HomeAid, and NVBIA also gives a portion of the proceeds from several of our more high-profile events to HomeAid. Most recently, NVBIA held its annual golf tournament and donated $5,600 to HomeAid.

In July, NVBIA’s Prince William Chapter will hold its “Triple Play Picnic” in conjunction with HomeAid’s Night at the Ballpark. Not only is this a wonderful event for the entire family, but it is a great way to support HomeAid and enjoy a great baseball game.

Over the course of the summer, NVBIA also encourages members to bring new backpacks to our networking events. HomeAid will donate the backpacks to local schoolchildren in need. NVBIA is proud of its partnership with HomeAid and will continue to support the organization—whether through financial contributions, encouraging members to become Builder Captains, or collecting items for local families in need. HomeAid’s mission is part of NVBIA, and our entire community benefits from their continued success.

Q:  Why has NVBIA selected HomeAid as its charity?

A:  As homebuilders, and those involved in the homebuilding industry, NVBIA’s members know just how critically important it is for families to have stable housing. Having personal security, safety, and a permanent place to call home is a foundation of success. NVBIA created HomeAid to provide a way for the industry to give back and fight homelessness in Northern Virginia. NVBIA has been, and will continue to be, proud partners with HomeAid, and our members have shown continued dedication to supporting HomeAid’s mission. NVBIA is honored to be a part of this important work, and our organization looks forward to working with HomeAid as they improve the lives of families in our community for many years to come.

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Builders & Friends BBQ Breaks Fundraising Records for HomeAid, HomeAid, CarrHomes Give Gift of Outdoors and New Kitchen to Pathways Residents, Trade Partner Spotlight: Southern Electrical Services Company, Help Make Summer Memories—Send a Family to the Ballpark this Month!, It’s Never Too Soon to Plan for Back to School, Outdoor Essentials Needed for Pathways Project, Jon Lindgren and NVBIA Appreciate Organization’s Relationship with HomeAid